Sunday, January 31, 2010

Einhorn-a-thon #2

After Ozma Sees Herself appeared in Oz-Story, Einhorn got to work on a full-length Oz novel. Paradox in Oz was published in 2000, the 100th anniversary of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The story opens with the citizens of Oz coming to Ozma in hordes with problems they're having due to aging. Somehow, the anti-aging spell on Oz is no longer effective. Ozma hurries to Glinda, who tells her that the enchantment is a time spell that the Book Of Records says ran about the time Ozma took the throne. When a recent earthquake happened, Glinda found an entry that said the Aging Enchantment was cast on the Man Who Lives Backwards and all of Oz. It turns out the Man Who Lives Backwards is a baby Omby Amby brought to Glinda, saying that Ozma sent him, having found the baby in a room where Mombi's magic tools had been stored after they had been confiscated. In order to discover what happened, Ozma needs to meet the Man Who Lives Backwards as an adult, meaning she must go back in time, and in order to do that, she needs to use a Parrot-Ox.

In order to find a Parrot-Ox, Ozma must find a paradox, and Glinda helps her find one. Tempus, the Parrot-Ox appears. He agrees to take Ozma back in time, and Glinda gives Ozma a ring to change time with, if necessary. Tempus takes Ozma a little too far back in time and she is stranded at just a few moments before Oz became a fairyland.

While trying to find Tempus, Ozma meets Dr. Majestico, a researcher who wants to prove magic doesn't exist. In fact, he's written down an equation on paper to prove it, and called it a "paradox." Ozma has found this paper, and thinking he said it was a Parrot-Ox, runs away from him. She soon recognizes a fountain as the Fountain of Oblivion and keeps the current King (known only as King Oz) from drinking from it. Suddenly, the enchantment that made Oz a fairyland is cast, and as Oz becomes magic, King Oz becomes exaggeratedly evil, and so does Oz.

The paper turns into Tempus and he and Ozma fly forward in time, and discover Oz is very different now. The cruel Wizard of Oz rules the Obsidian City with an iron fist, his cruel assistants Wantowin Battles and Nick Chopper at his side. Glinda is in jail until she is rescued by the Good Witch Mombi, and this Oz's Ozma is a blonde! Oz is now a cruel fairyland. Can Ozma restore Oz to it's former self as well as restore the Aging Enchantment?

One can tell from these first few chapters that Einhorn enjoys wordplay and puzzling conundrums. Also, we get to deal with time travel, the Butterfly Effect being a big factor here. (Back to the Future, anyone?) As the story continues, Einhorn plays with such puns and sometimes the story doesn't seem like it's making much sense, until you think about it, and it does, and then you think about it harder, then it doesn't. In fact, I'm not exactly sure I exactly figured out how the enchantment was cast and broken, but anyways, the important thing is, I enjoyed it!

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